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Dear friends and colleagues,

The tourism sector has been the subject of increased scrutiny lately.  In May of this year, workers demanded health benefits at the New Orleans Marketing Tourism Corporation board meeting. And a proposal to publicly subsidize a new hotel at the foot of Convention Center Boulevard received significant criticism from analysts at the Bureau of Governmental Research. 

Many folks have called upon The Data Center to help clear up confusion about how many jobs are part of the tourism economy and the quality of these jobs. These are important questions because the tourism cluster is by far the largest driver industry in New Orleans.

Today we release a brief aimed to end the debates about how many jobs this sector represents and focus, instead, on the largest portions of the tourism sector.  This brief, entitled “Benchmarking New Orleans’ Tourism Economy: Hotel and Full-Service Restaurant Jobs,” responds to questions about the number and quality of tourism jobs in New Orleans while being transparent about the limitations of measuring tourism’s contribution to the economy and income levels for tipped workers.

Our data analysis concludes that improving the quality of existing job opportunities – and connecting low- and middle-skilled workers to better ones – involves more than tourism and hospitality. Better understanding these dynamics is crucial to the efforts of public policymakers, workforce and economic development stakeholders, and private employers to strike a productive balance between tourism and its alternatives in the regional economy. 

To learn more, check out "
Benchmarking New Orleans’ Tourism Economy: Hotel and Full-Service Restaurant Jobs."
Bringing you the data you need to make informed decisions,
The Data Center team 
Allison Plyer, Dabne Whitemore, Jenna Losh, Robby Habans, Lamar Gardere, Rachel Weinstein, and Erica Amrine
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